At the beginning of 2005 the effects of
global warming were becoming far more than just passing news fillers.
The media, television in particular, began to emphasize more than ever
the devastating effects that humanity is having on the planet. New evidence
shows that global warming is accelerating far quicker than any science
or computer modelling had ever previously predicted. Particularly in
the UK, TV screens are now often filled with documentaries showing and
debating the effects of our global destruction on both land and sea.
Even the Indonesian tsunami was
shown to have caused significantly more damage and death because of
rising sea levels caused by global warming. In
fact it's reasonable, if not contentious, to consider that we are all
responsible for those additional deaths by causing un-naturally higher
sea-levels in the first place.
Pumping out carbon dioxide (CO2)
emissions, depleting natural resources and persistence in living
an ever-consuming lifestyle means that perhaps you, along with the rest
of the human race are continuing to commit what can only be called "global
As an individual, how can you help to
reverse that trend ... and what has being vegetarian got to do with
On the top-right corner of many VeggieGlobal
pages you'll find a snip of useful info about vegetarian-based living.
Two of these VeggieBites say:
The amount of land needed to produce a one-year food
supply for a person on a meat-eating diet is 3.25 acres. The amount
of land needed to produce a one-year food supply for a pure vegetarian
is just 1/6 (0.16)
"Diet for A New America" by John Robbins
at Chigaco University have calculated that a meat eater emits 1.5
tonnes more Co2 than a vegan, and half a tonne more Co2 than a Honda
or Toyota hybrid car uses in a year!
In other words, by turning organic-veg*n
you are helping to reduce the impact of the greenhouse effect and at
the same time restore land back to its natural state, which would otherwise
be used for rearing animals for slaughter. This return to nature will
allow pesticide-free, CO2 absorbing, oxygen-giving
flora to grow and help re-balance the environment. This will, of course
also help dwindling wildlife to recover.
There are many more examples like this, and the world's ocean is another
vital element that needs to be saved right now to prevent the loss of
all life on this planet. Oceans are becoming highly acidic due to pollution
and the depletion of its marine life. Again, by being vegetarian our
fish and therefore the ecology of the oceans a chance to recover. This,
along with other changes need to be put in place now to stop humans
from using the sea as a dumping ground. In fact, if you are just turning
vegetarian and you are doing it in stages, fish should be the first
thing give up. (See more below or on our veggieguide
By realizing that all this devastation
could be reversed through becoming vegetarian (and of course being energy-conscious
as well) then it becomes clear how an organic / veggie lifestyle could
make a huge diference to the future of this planet. If you live in a
society where fruit, veg and protein-packed meat alternatives are abundant,
then think veggie, not only for animal ethics or personal health, but
as a duty towards helping to save and bring back a smile to the entire
There is an old saying:
"Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today".
VeggieGlobal and Looking-Glass redefines this for the 21st century:
"Action today creates hope ... action tomorrow is too late".
Aspects of veggieglobal.com
have been involved in programs and issues covering animal welfare, vegetarianism
and conservation on all kinds of interactive levels; observing viewpoints,
habits and behaviour amongst those involved. This has helped build a
profile on what's out there in the land of lentils and sun-dried tomatoes,
where those wonderful torch-laden oddballs help toads across the road
And as our main site introduction suggests, the stereotypical image
of a lentil-bound ageing hippy dancing bare-bottomed round a tree has
long been overshadowed by the draw of future trends. Modern day vegetarianism
may stem from some social aspects of the Flower-Power generation - but
vegetarianism is now integral to many societies, incorporating a far
wider cultural mix than ever.
Vegetarianism should be an overall indicator
of compassion, but there is a sliding scale of reasons as to why people
turn veggie. There's self-preservation because of concern about diseases
that one might catch from eating meat. Slipping further down the scale
there are those who like to pretend they are veggie, but actually eat
fish and non-veggie cheeses etc., calling themselves veggie simply because
In fact, eating fish and abstaining from meat is a moral farce from
both an ethical and environmental aspect. It has recently been biologically
proven that fish feel pain and emotions just like mammals. Fish are
taken from an natural environment and the oceans have been seriously
depleted of marine life because of this. While farm animals are managed
and restocked, fish in the sea aren't. The fishing industry has harvested
the oceans to near extinction. If you want to consider the importance
of marine-based ethics while becoming vegetarian then consider fish
as an equally important moral issue as meat.
Naturally aspired compassion is
a rare human quality. It means empathy towards all earth's creatures
in its purest form and without doubt the ultimate alignment which harmonizes
with earth's own natural organic evolution. This means it transcends
beyond the act of individual preservation or theological practices.
For a start, it isn't derived from an abstract source like religion
and it doesn't (or shouldn't) represent a cultural divide. Naturally
aspired compassion is a slowly evolving realization, something which
humans seriously have to take on board - to realign their traits for
all kinds of common-sense reasons - to repair and heal the planet in
a variety of ways before they destroy it - and therefore themselves.
So in a way, popular vegetarianism could be considered both a form of
animal compassion and self-preservation at the same time. Regardless
of their ignorance, pseudo-veggies are saving a few animals by abstaining
from certain meats but that's as far as it goes - because they are still
essentially carnivores and not vegetarian.
Some words at the beginning of this introduction
mirror the kind of remarks that a veggie or animal campaigner might
encounter during their life. Are you an "oddball", "peculiar"
or one of the "funny people" - just because you wear your
compassionate heart on your sleeve? Of course not. Ignorant people sneer
at your proactive lifestyle simply because they subliminally feel threatened
by a sense of un-quantifiable purism. It's simply a foreign language
to them - it's an emotion that doesn't fit their self-serving type of
Such people may also think you are displaying self-righteousness ...
but whether they like it or not, you are in fact, openly representing
a truth about human disharmony - and presenting a pure and clear view
of ultimate kindness. This, in reality is un-putdownable, but some other
people can't deal with that because they feel it shows up their own
ignorance and lack of compassion. Hence, the only way they can deal
with it is by jesting at your expression of concern.
Showing kindness or "compassion" through vegetarianism is
an emotion that uncomfortably runs against the grain of many people's
own short-sighted lifestyle.
In fact, you have nothing to be ashamed of by taking the ethically minded
path - it shows initiative that encompasses empathy, care and concern.
The only problem is that there are slight risks of being tarnished with
the same brush as those hard-line activists who bring a bad name to
the subject of animal welfare - *Those who threaten lives as part of
a self-righteous mission, rather than seek a passive path of protest
that can encourage proper dialogue for change.
*Although we empathize
with the anxieties of many animal and environmental activists we do
not condone or excuse the use of violence against others as part of
their active process.
So... you, as a level-headed global
compassionate have nothing to feel uncomfortable about ... That
is how the philosophy of VeggieGlobal aims to guide you on your own
journey as a vegetarian, to ensure that you don't wander from the path
... either into self-righteousness or even back into meat-eating just
because of unsympathetic remarks directed at you by a peer group of
In the 21st century, there is a clear
common pattern of opposing social extremes ... redneck meat-eaters and
pro-hunters on one side and on the other, hooded extremists masquerading
under the banner of compassion for animals - but who threaten human
lives in the process.
Amongst this we also have to endure self-serving politics on one extreme
and self-serving religion on the other. With all of this human intolerance
in constant turmoil, it's almost impossible for naturally aligned
compassion to rise above it and therefore extinguish those kinds of
Only by a carefully balanced mix of self-realization, moral education,
individual thinking and willingness to accept personal faults - can
the rest of this world begin to harmonize with a passive flow of common
sense. We have to willingly endure a path which reverses degradation
and therefore enriches our relationship with the natural world as well
as each other for the future.
With this in mind,
there is of course turmoil and disharmony all around us - even within
the world of animal welfare. There are animal organizations and lobbyists
on every level, and from many social backgrounds. In effect they are
all fighting a common cause and there is colourful characterization
among such activists, veggies or otherwise who wave the banner of animal
peace. But it also generates a melting pot of social contention and
veggies don't normally carry the torch of self-righteousness. But there
are a contrived few amongst various green classes who can upset the
apple cart - agitating a transparent flow towards what we all otherwise
hope would be a "natural" stage of human evolution. Because
of this you'll find that many vegetarians and animal campaigners can
live by dramatically different agendas; why they are - what they
are - or do what they do.
So the idea here in this VeggieGlobal mini-book called Cow to Clown
is to lay the cards on the table and organize them in a way that provides
you with a clear sense as to why YOU are doing what you do, or want
to do, without fear of becoming stereotyped or the victim - just
for being what you want to be ... a contributor to compassionate causes
for the most natural of all reasons ... kindness.